National Security Satellite Launches to Orbit

An Atlas V rocket launches from Cape Canaveral AFS on May 22. (Photo: United Launch Alliance LLC)

A national security satellite successfully launched to orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard an Atlas V rocket on Thursday morning, May 22. Ray Johnson, Aerospace vice president for Space Launch Operations, issued the following statement:

“I’m very pleased to announce the successful launch of Atlas V and its NROL-33 satellite. The vehicle lifted off of space launch complex 41 here at the Cape at 9:09 a.m. EDT. After a 38-minute mission we separated the spacecraft right on target. After spacecraft separation we successfully completed a third burn of the Centaur upper stage to reenter the upper stage. The countdown operation was extremely smooth with no major issues. This launch came just six days after we completed the successful Delta IV/GPS IIF-6 mission. The Aerospace launch team has done an outstanding job of supporting both of these operations. Congratulations to the launch team and the NRO team as they start their NROL-33 mission.”